Why Apple Made a Watch

by Kevin Holesh

Wired's piece on the secret history of the Apple Watch:

Along the way, the Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life. Like the rest of us, Ive, Lynch, Dye, and everyone at Apple are subject to the tyranny of the buzz—the constant checking, the long list of nagging notifications. “We’re so connected, kind of ever-presently, with technology now,” Lynch says. “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much.” They’ve glared down their noses at those who bury themselves in their phones at the dinner table and then absentmindedly thrust hands into their own pockets at every ding or buzz.

Even Apple employees aren't immune to the pull of the phone in their pocket.

The article later goes on to partly blame Apple for creating this problem, which I don't think is fair. The iPhone makes it incredibly easy to access whatever I want, wherever I am, but that's not why I check my phone 50 times a day. I check it because I get a notification from Twitter, or a Facebook wall post, or a text message from my family. I check it because I'm bored and want to mindlessly scroll through something to "catch up on news."

The iPhone is just the hardware. The addictive part is the apps I have installed.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest employ offices full of very smart designers whose only goal is to get you to engage with their app just a little bit more. If you check your Pinterest feed 20% more, the company can increase their revenue by 20% by serving more ads. The more you're checking your Facebook news feed, the more ads you'll see and the more money Facebook will make. Your eyeballs and attention are how these apps and companies make all of their money.

There are entire books written about how to improve an app's design and sink the hook in deeper. These designers are much better at their jobs than I am at resisting the psychological tricks they use. I can't help but pick up my phone for that little dopamine hit I get from checking my Twitter feed.

That's why I'm hooked on my iPhone and I think the Apple Watch will help push me in the right direction.

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